Sanctuary for the gadget freaks: re-conceptualization of urban spaces in the age of IoT
The increasing number of gadget ownership and people’s dependence on the Internet of things (IoT) in everyday life, encourages us to reassess the concepts of ‘Placemaking’ of the digital era. If historically considered, Generation Y (born 1985-1995) and Generation Z (born 1996-2005) were either introduced to this lifestyle from birth or slowly ascended to the digital world of IoT. Moreover ‘Generation Alpha’ (born after 2005) being born in the sea of gadgets will have a much more accelerated use of IoT. This expedited use of gadgets suggests taking into consideration how they would impact the evolution of public spaces. This research examines the influence of IoT in the development of 21st-century urban spaces and analyzes the burgeoning needs of people from such urban spaces. This research finds out what are the novel architectural elements and typologies that can address such needs. Case studies and precedents of open urban spaces such as Potsdamer Platz in Berlin, Central Park in New York, with the introduction of new public spaces such as E-Sports arenas and Interactive museums, are analyzed in the paper. Investigation of pioneering theoretical arguments on urban space from JB Jackson, Christian Nordberg Schulz, and William H Whyte, as well as observing phenomena such as ‘Arab Spring’ provided an analytical perspective on urban conditions and their relation to the digital world. Researching the current affairs that are conducted by these gadgets like social media, online gaming, e-shopping, e-learning, and online entertainment- this paper finds out proper architectural elements to compliment them in the physical dimension. By considering the need and culture of the youth of the 21st century and analyzing the ongoing trends related to the IoT this paper researches the architectural elements which are vital for the conceptualization of 21st-century urban spaces.